In news that will make you shake your head/contemplate the world in general, a Washington NAACP chapter president has been disguising herself as African American for years, but is in fact white. You read that sentence correctly.
BuzzFeed reports that Rachel Dolezal has been leading the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington for six months, is an Africana Studies adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University, and chair of her city’s police oversight commission. However, Rachel’s parents told various news outlets that their daughter isn’t black, but comes from European descent. From their quotes, they think that their daughter’s advocacy efforts would be just as effective (if not more) had she been open about her true identity.
“Unfortunately, she is not ethnically by birth African American. She is our daughter by birth. And that’s the way it is,” her father Larry Dolezal told The Washington Post.
Her mother Ruthanne Dolezal opened up to The Spokesman-Review about her daughter, saying, “It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself. Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.”
And, perhaps most biting of all, Ruthanne essentially called her daughter crazy for lying about her ethnicity all this time. “She’s not being rational in what she is saying,” Ruthanne told The Seattle Times. “It’s certainly not being realistic or honest. That demonstrates some instability, in my view.”
But it gets more confusing. Rachel herself has evaded questions about her ethnicity for years now. Check out this Vine of a reporter asking her if she’s black and her vague AF answer that makes zero sense whatsoever.
Needless to say, the Internet is very angry and confused by all of this. Some are even supporting Rachel, saying that identifying with a different race is a legitimate struggle. (#WrongSkin is a hashtag many are using.) Check out these visceral Twitter reactions to Rachel’s unfathomable story:
White privilege is picking and choosing when you're black. #RachelDolezal
— BWD (@theonlyadult) June 12, 2015
But did anyone tell #RachelDolezal that you can be a white girl and still be an advocate for social activism against racism or nah
— Lady Lazarus (@Siobhanapiranha) June 12, 2015
Some folk are defending #RachelDolezal, a white woman who pretended to be Black, but would never defend Black women. Privilege is real.
— PrestonMitchum (@PrestonMitchum) June 12, 2015
I had stopped with commentary re: #RachelDolezal until I saw the video. The elasticity and boldness of whiteness never ceases to amaze me.
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 12, 2015
— Godfrey Elfwick (@GodfreyElfwick) June 12, 2015
White people, we've stolen enough spaces that didn't belong to us. #RachelDolezal continued that dangerous practice. So no, it's not okay.
— Bacchus (@theonlybacchus) June 12, 2015
No one is born the wrong race. Race is a construct. And if you feel that way, you are either assimilating or appropriating. #RachelDolezal
— Prince Karakul (@milkywitch) June 12, 2015
Only a white person could get this much attention for being black. 🙂 #RachelDolezal
— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) June 12, 2015
If #RachelDolezal has done good what's it matter? People lie about they age all the time this semi the same thing.
— ⚡ (@JUSCVLLMEREDCUH) June 12, 2015
Also, just because you have beef with your parents you change your hair and go to tanning salons to pretend to be black? #RachelDolezal NO.
— InstaPundit (@iPunditry) June 12, 2015
This woman has been living in blackface for years living off of OUR story. It's absolutely ridiculous. #RachelDolezal
— slick (@SLIMDADDY_) June 12, 2015
Hubby pointed out, #RachelDolezal thing is actually sad AF, we don't make room for allies & since their passion is there, they go nutty.
— Siouxweet N' Sauer (@SiouxweetNSauer) June 12, 2015
— Spencer Colbert (@blackradiohead) June 12, 2015
— Perpleraign (@sagetastik) June 12, 2015
Just a friendly reminder that a black person passing as white was once a criminal offense. Enjoy ur day. #RachelDolezal
— Amanda Seales (@amandaseales) June 12, 2015
What do y’all think about this situation? Sound off in the comments below.